gamin is a traditional Korean musician, trained in jeongak — the classical music of the court — and sinawi — the collaborative improvisation that accompanies Korean shamanic ritual.
Since leaving orchestral work behind six years ago, gamin has taken these skills in unexpected directions, using her piri and taepyeongso (Korean oboes), and saengwhang (mouth organ) to pursue contemporary sounds and reach new audiences.
Hailed as “a true pioneer and innovator, leading these instruments in exciting new directions,” gamin has worked with dancers, marimba players, video artists, and fashion designers to reframe what it means to be a master of a traditional art. This June, gamin will bring her unique voice and experience to the Global Musician Workshop as a faculty member.
She spoke with us about collaboration, harmony, and artistic satisfaction. _____
What do you look for in an artistic collaborator?
I am always interested in collaboration, which to me means making peace and harmony with an understanding and respectful mind. And seeking peaceful harmony through advanced musical techniques is a beautiful process.
Tell us about one of your most interesting collaborations.
All collaborations are interesting and every experience gives me new understanding and knowledge. I recently worked with dancers and musicians based in Philadelphia to create a piece that explored the universality of sudden loss and trauma. The entire process began with a discussion about our experiences, then we improvised with heart. The result made the audience cry, and it was moving for us as well.
When do you feel the most artistically satisfied?
I look for meaningful artistic work and beautiful processes. It is the same as in life, where I am pursuing the meaning of life and happiness. When I feel my musical process is meaningful and it makes me feel good, then I am satisfied with the art.
What do you see as the greatest opportunities and challenges for the younger generation of musicians?
Everything is becoming connected, and it can seem like there are no more individuals, that everyone is simply following the latest trend. At the same time, this new generation has more freedom of expression than ever before. It is their strength, and they must recognize this and take advantage of it.
What are you most excited about for the 2016 Global Musician Workshop?
I am so excited to meet artists from all over the world and find new ways to communicate through music and art. Because passionate, spirited communication is essential to progress in the world.